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In plea to join PLO, Hamas emphasizes commitment to terror

Posted by Tip Staff - November 02, 2016


A top official of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has called for its inclusion in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), an umbrella group internationally recognized as the representative of the Palestinians, while stressing the Islamist movement's continued commitment to attacking Israel, The Times of Israel reported on Wednesday.
The PLO is dominated by the Fatah party, which is headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Accepting Hamas into the PLO would call into question Abbas' commitment to internationally accepted requirements -- including rejection of terrorism -- for securing a peace treaty with Israel.
Speaking from Qatar, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal called for a “united authority for inside and outside of Palestine under the umbrella of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.”
"It is time we reconsider the organization [the PLO],” Meshaal continued in a speech broadcast by Al Jazeera from the Fourth Palestinian National Security Conference in the Gaza Strip. “In order to build our lives and political system on democratic foundations, we must be partners in shouldering responsibility and partners in the decision of war and peace."
Meshaal -- whose bid for a unity agreement came after he met with Abbas in Qatar --emphasized that joining the PLO would have no effect on his organization's commitment to terrorism. The Hamas charter includes quotes calling for the killing of "warmongering Jews" and envisions a religiously-inspired fight to destroy Israel. In regards to the PLO, it states: "The day The Palestinian Liberation Organization adopts Islam as its way of life, we will become its soldiers, and fuel for its fire that will burn the enemies."


An Iranian airline that has been sanctioned by the U.S. for its role in delivering weapons and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel to Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria and for providing transport to Hezbollah, Mahan Air, will now be able to fly commercial routes to more than a dozen European and Asian countries, the Associated Press reported Wednesday. Emanuele Ottolenghi, an Iran expert who tracks Mahan Air’s activities closely, said, “By letting Mahan Air in, the Europeans are forgoing a critical pressure tool that they have in their arsenal.” Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who wants the EU to designate the airline as a terrorist entity, asked rhetorically, “How many dead Syrians does it take for the Europeans to think there is a threat?” He continued, “We’re not saying Mahan Air assists the IRGC – we’d say Mahan Air is the IRGC – and we have to give notice to our friends in Europe...This idea that we can allow Mahan Air to do whatever it wants just because there are temporary restrictions on the nuclear deal – that wasn’t the deal.”
Sherman has forcefully opposed the loosening of restrictions on Iranian commercial aircraft, which have historically and demonstrably been used by the Iranian regime for illicit, murderous, and terrorist purposes. He wrote a letter this past June to Secretary of State John Kerry, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to express his concern about Boeing’s sale of aircraft to Iran Air, another airline that had been designated in 2011 for being used by the IRGC and Iran’s Ministry of Defense to transport military-related equipment, including rockets and missiles (while a technicality was used to drop sanctions on the airline as part of the nuclear deal, U.S. officials have not indicated that such activity has stopped). The letter read in part, “Iran Air’s aircraft will undoubtedly be used in the future to continue to funnel lethal assistance to Assad, to Hezbollah, and to other terrorist entities.” Speaking at a hearing at the House Financial Services Committee in July, he added, “We’re being asked to transfer planes to a company, Iran Air, that has served as an air force for terrorism.”


The recent arrest of World Vision’s top Gaza official, who admitted to diverting millions of dollars to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, underscores several problems plaguing the international charity’s operations in the Middle East, the watchdog group NGO Monitor wrote in a report published Wednesday.
The arrest of Mohammad el-Halabi in August over his role in funneling charity funds to Gaza’s ruling terrorist organization reflected “the inherent danger of humanitarian groups operating in warzones, risking the diversion of aid by violent actors, including terrorist organizations,” NGO Monitor observed. Despite this, World Vision has released only “limited information regarding El-Halabi, the organization’s finances, and allegations of anti-Israel biases in World Vision staff.”
NGO Monitor added that the charity had reportedly investigated el-Halabi in 2015 after one of its accountants raised concerns that the director was stealing aid money and working with Hamas. World Vision hired an outside investigator who found no signs of impropriety. Given el-Halabi’s arrest and subsequent confession, NGO Monitor called on World Vision to clarify which official oversaw the investigation and what guidelines were followed in last year’s audit.
In an op-ed following el-Halabi’s arrest, Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, recommended that charities operating in Palestinian areas should do a better job of vetting employees, increase their cooperation with Israeli security agencies, and stop cash payments, which he described as a “direct path to corruption and diversion to terror.”
Researchers from Haifa, Israel, have proven that a combination of complementary medicine and standard care for preoperative anxiety is more effective in reducing symptoms caused by patient anxiety and consequently improves postsurgical outcomes. Preoperative anxiety, which can lead to elevated blood pressure, rapid pulse and sugar metabolism changes, is one of the most significant factors predicting mortality among postoperative cardiovascular patients, according to Prof. Lital Keinan Boker from the Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Studies at the University of Haifa. These symptoms of preoperative anxiety can influence and extend the postoperative recovery period, added Boker, who also is deputy director of the Israel Center of Disease Control and currently is a visiting associate professor at Trinity College, Dublin. She and Dr. Elad Schiff of Bnai Zion Hospital in Haifa supervised the study by master’s student Samuel Attias at the university. Attias’ goal was to examine whether complementary medicine practices, applied alongside conventional care, could help reduce anxiety levels. The study involved 360 patients over the age of 16 about to undergo elective or acute surgery in the general surgery ward. The patients were divided into three groups. (via Israel21c)

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